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. so we have walt whitman, allen ginsberg. here they tried to be very clear that poetry has been an impressive part of america's history and that americans have been very committed to both writing and reading poetry. i think that continues today. >> what about religious books? >> we do have a holographic pile a lot of the books, while they would not necessarily be associated with the religion have the moralistic or kind of a do good tone to the. and we really felt that is more representative of america then would be a particular religious book. so we tried to look at the values of america, her spiritual sort of persona. rather than looking a particular religious books. >> roberta shaffer, headed to get your start? >> i started here over 30 years ago as the first special assistant to law library. fairly fresh out of law school. absolutely fell in love with the library of congress. thirty plus years ago as today you cannot keep me away. a room to work every morning, and i think that working here and being here surrounded by books, manuscripts, musical scores, movies, the whole gamb
published their first major books within weeks of each other. i follow that with allen ginsberg, james baldwin, christopher isherwood, tennessee williams was also working at this time too, this is like the first wave, and they caught a lot of grief for what they wrote. right after world war ii, homosexuality was illegal in all 48 states. you couldn't talk openly as a gay person. but you could write fiction about it and say i'm not writing about myself, i'm writing about these other people who are fictional. everybody saw through this white lie and understood what was going on. but they caught a little use from critics about it. the critics couldn't say, oh, you're clearly a homosexual, that would've been liable at this time. they found other ways to kind of complaint and attack and criticize. this first-generation caught a lot of great rema so how explicit are open could a james baldwin be or a christian be? >> they were initially very open. the second novel, giovanni's room, is about -- it's about two white men in paris, one of the great black american writers. before his second novel
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